Designers Are Creating Expensive Baubles Inspired By The 2020 Beirut Blast And It’s So Insensitive
A year ago, this was the last normal week we had before all hell broke loose on the world. Apart from the Coronavirus outbreak, a series of deadly disasters like the plane crash in Pakistan, the Australian bushfire and the Beirut Blast in Lebanon that continued all year resulting in thousands of deaths and damage of property. We conveniently blamed it all on the year (maybe it was cursed, maybe not) but now that the year is gone, no one really wants to remember these tragic events and the cursed 2020, especially not with a blingy jewellery that costs more than 5 lakhs. However a Lebanese designer Nada Ghazal who lost her workshop, store and a potential flagship space in the Beirut explosion designed a ring inspired by the disaster, claiming that it is symbolic to the resilience and strength of the country. Netizens are not amused.
The ring, christened by Ghazal, as The Blast Ring is getting serious hate for being a highly insensitive means of making money off a gruesome tragedy. The ring is a 18 karat yellow gold encrusted with champagne diamonds that represent the dust cloud seen over the port post the blast. According to the designer, the design of the ring has a peak on the top and a dip down around the finger which depict the resilience to rise above the disaster and challenges that bring them down, respectively. “The challenges we go through, versus the big smiles we always have, there’s something unexplainable there. There’s some kind of magic in this country,” says Ghazal, about her country.
However, a diamond ring might not be the best representation of the devastating and disruptive event that left the already crisis-struck country with a 60% drop in the market and a staggering economy. Putting a price tag on it which most people can’t afford at the time only makes it worse.
Also Read: The Video Of This Bride Captured Seconds Before The Beirut Blast Went Viral. She Says They Can’t Live In The City Any More
Yet someone else trying to profit off the pain of thousands. And of course at a price most Lebanese couldn’t possibly afford.
— Sarah Copland (@sas_yvonne) March 1, 2021
Social media didn’t approve of this baseless inspiration and condemned the designer for using a diamond decked accessory to depict the disaster which took hundreds of lives. Not to mention, the fact that this bright, shiny Blast Ring is ridiculously priced has the netizens shaking their heads with disappointment. A user wrote, “Yet someone else trying to profit off the pain of thousands. And of course at a price most Lebanese couldn’t possibly afford. There is a big difference between depicting trauma through art & creating unaffordable, unattainable fashion off the back suffering #BeirutBlast.” Another user wrote, @NadaGhazalJewel apart from the insensitive exploitation of a blast that affected thousands and traumatized millions, the design has nothing to do with the blast – meaning that you just designed a random ring and slapped the bomb on it to get media attention. Shameful @Forbes.”
This isn’t the first time that a designer has tried to exploit a disaster and capitalise from it. In fact, another Lebanese designer “handcrafted” a bag made of the glass debris found on the site after the Beirut Blast and called it ‘The Silo Bag’ depicting the iconic Silos of the port. The bag was a tribute to those impacted by the explosion. That’s right. A fashion accessory made of broken glass from the disaster site! It was priced at $550 and 25% of the proceeds from the sale was meant to go to charity but was taken down by the website it was being sold on after heavy criticism.
this is honestly so grim there are no words. a company picked up debris from the 4 Aug Beirut port explosion -which killed around 200 people – and is flogging it off for hundreds of $ as a fashion statement (with an oh so generous donation of 25% of each sale to go to charity) https://t.co/RJ50ZKElIG
— Deeba Shadnia (@deebashadnia) December 6, 2020
A user wrote, “this is honestly so grim there are no words. a company picked up debris from the 4 Aug Beirut port explosion -which killed around 200 people – and is flogging it off for hundreds of $ as a fashion statement (with an oh so generous donation of 25% of each sale to go to charity).”
I am sure there are other ways to pay tribute to the victims of a catastrophe and represent the disaster through fashion and art which don’t necessarily involve hurting the sentiments of the people or using shiny diamonds which have no connection with tragedy, whatsoever. Case in point: an elderly woman named Yolande Labaki who handcrafted 78 dolls and brought a smile on the faces of girls who lost their toys in the Beirut Blast.